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PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD v. CADMAN (03/24/52)

THE SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


March 24, 1952

PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, APPELLANT,
v.
CADMAN

Appeal, No. 63, Jan. T., 1952, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, Nov. T., 1950, No. 1245, in case of Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board v. William N. Cadman, trading as Morrow Quarries. Order reversed; reargument refused April 16, 1952.

COUNSEL

George L. Reed, Solicitor, with him M. Louise Rutherford, Deputy Attorney General and Robert E. Woodside, Attorney General, for appellant.

Joseph W. deFuria, for appellee.

Before Drew, C.j., Stern, Stearne, Bell, Chidsey and Musmanno, JJ.

Author: Stearne

[ 370 Pa. Page 2]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE ALLEN M. STEARNE

The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board appeals from an order reversing its decision that appellee, William N. Cadman, discriminated against five employes in regard to tenure of employment because of union activities.

The court below correctly stated that its sole function in reviewing an order of the Labor Board was to determine whether the Board's findings of fact and inferences drawn therefrom were supported by substantial and legally credible evidence: Act of June 1, 1937, P.L. 1168, No. 294, sec. 9, as amended, 43 PS sec. 211.9; Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board v. Kaufmann Department Stores, Inc., 345 Pa. 398, 29 A.2d 90; Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board v. Daum, 365 Pa. 285, 74 A.2d 649.

It is clear that the evidence here presented was sufficient for this purpose, provided it was proper for

[ 370 Pa. Page 3]

    the Board to infer appellee's anti-union sentiments from the statements of his equipment superintendent, Domenick Cappeli. The controlling question is whether Cappeli was an employer within the meaning of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Act, supra.

Section 3 (c) of that Act, 43 PS sec. 211.3 (c), defines the term "employer" as including "any person acting, directly or indirectly, in the interest of an employer". An identical provision appears in the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. sec. 152 (2). We have not previously been called upon to interpret this section, but the federal courts have considered it on several occasions.

In Packard Motor Car Co. v. National Labor Relations Board, 330 U.S. 485, 67 S. Ct. 789, the United States Supreme Court speaking through Mr. Justice JACKSON explained the congressional intent as follows (p. 489): "But Congress was creating a new class of wrongful acts to be known as unfair labor practices, and it could not be certain that the courts would apply the tort rule of respondent superior to those derelictions. Even if it did, the problem of proof as applied to this kind of wrongs might easily be complicated by questions as to the scope of the actor's authority and of variance between his apparent and his real authority. Hence, it was provided that in administering this act the employer, for its purposes, should be not merely the individual or corporation which was the employing entity, but also others, whether employee or not, who are 'acting in the interest of an employer.'" Other cases in which an employer has been held bound by the acts of a supervisory employe without regard for the limitations of the doctrine of respondeat superior include: H. J. Heinz Company v. National Labor Relations Board, 311 U.S. 514, 61 S.Ct. 320, 323; National Labor Relations Board v. Moench

[ 370 Pa. Page 4]

It is immaterial that the court below might have reached a different conclusion from an independent examination of the testimony.

At the suggestion of the Board, Section 3 (a) of its order will be amended to read as follows: "(a) Offer Michael Bisignaro,John Milano and Joseph Milano full reinstatement to their former positions will back pay from August 2, 1950 to the date of the offer of reinstatement, less any amount actually earned by them or any losses wilfully incurred by them during such period, and without prejudice to any rights previously enjoyed by them and without discrimination against them by reason of their activities and affiliation with the Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America, Local Union No. 312, affiliated with the American Federation of Labor, or any other labor organization". In all other respects the order of the Board will be affirmed and enforced by the court below.

Order of the court below reversed at appellee's cost.

Disposition

Order of the court below reversed at appellee's cost.

19520324

© 1998 VersusLaw Inc.



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